A cry in the night It was perhaps an hour later, or perhaps the following night, that I was once more wakened by the stammer of a tugboatâ€™s engine, and now IÂ seemed to hear beneath it a troubled, human cry. This time it was futile to hold the bedclothes against my ears; I could not escape a sense of responsibility (Hutchinson 1969: 9). Those are the opening words of a novel that has lurked in the depths of my consciousness ever since I first read it as an undergraduate around the start of the 1970s. In some quiet way, it has shaped my understanding of history, and now as I approach the end of my university career, still struggling with questions of historical justice and responsibility, I have found myself returning to it and rereading it, each time discovering something new in its pages. It provides, I think, a good starting point for some reflections about works that bring together the art of creative writing and the craft of the historian.